New Articles

Report: Iran’s Military Strategy

January 10, 2020
In a new report, Michael Eisenstadt explores Iran’s gray zone strategy of operating between war and peace. The following is the executive summary from the report, available in full here from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.    Operating in the Gray Zone: Countering Iran's…

Iran Attack: U.S. Sanctions Top Officials, Metals

January 10, 2020
On January 10, President Trump issued an executive order authorizing sanctions “against any individual or entity operating in the construction, manufacturing, textiles, or mining sectors of the Iranian economy.” Mining and metals have historically been one of the regime's largest non-oil sources of…

War Powers Resolution on Iran

January 10, 2020
On January 9, the House of Representatives voted 224 to 194 to limit President Trump’s ability to engage in hostilities against Iran under the 1973 War Powers Resolution. The vote came after Trump authorized the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Qods Force. Many Democrats and a…

Timeline of U.S.-Iran Crisis

January 10, 2020
Dec. 27: Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraqi militia backed by Iran, launched rockets at the K1 military base near Kirkuk, which housed U.S. military service members and Iraqi personnel. The attack killed a U.S. civilian contractor and wounded four U.S. service members and two Iraqis.   Dec. 29: The United…

Iran Attack: World Reacts

January 8, 2020
World powers largely called for restraint after Iran launched missiles on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops on January 8. Britain, France and Germany condemned the attack and called for calm. Russia and China were more critical of U.S. policy. The following are international reactions to the…

Iran Attack: Congressional Reactions

January 8, 2020
Congress was divided over prospects for war after Iran launched missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. personnel on January 8. Many Republicans lauded President Trump for standing strong against Iran by ordering the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Qods Force, on January 3. “All…

Iran Attack: Iraq Reacts

January 8, 2020
Iraq’s political and militia leaders diverged in their response to the Iranian missile strikes against the al Asad airbase in Anbar province and a base in Erbil on January 8. Pro-Iran members of parliament cheered the attack and called for additional retribution against the United States. But…

Comparing U.S. and Iran Military Might

January 8, 2020
By Andrew Hanna As of January 2020, the United States possessed an overwhelming advantage in conventional military capabilities in the Persian Gulf – dominating in both air and naval power. But Iran’s unconventional capabilities, along with its array of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles,…

Iran Attack: Trump Remarks

January 8, 2020
On January 8, President Trump announced new economic sanctions on Iran and condemned its support for terror following an attack on two Iraqi bases that housed U.S. forces. He also called on the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal – Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia – to withdraw…

Iran Attack: Iran Comments

January 8, 2020
Updated: January 9, 2020
Iranian leaders hailed their country’s strike on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. On January 8, Iran fired at least a dozen missiles at the al Asad air base in Iraq’s western Anbar province and another facility in Irbil in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the…

Iran Attack: Roundup

January 8, 2020
Updated: February 10, 2020
On January 8, Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Qods Force. Iran was quick to claim responsibility for the attack on U.S. forces. But its foreign minister also…

Part 10: Iran’s Allies and Proxies on Soleimani

January 7, 2020
Iran’s allies and proxies across the Middle East condemned the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Qods Force, and Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, a leader of the Iraqi militia Kataib Hezbollah. Several groups threatened to attack U.S. forces in the Middle East. “The American…

Part 8: Iraqi Reaction to U.S. Strike, Soleimani

January 7, 2020
Across Iraq, political and militia leaders uniformly condemned the U.S. drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the Quds Force commander, and Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the founder of Kataib Hezbollah and deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).  They charged that the U.S.…

Part 9: Iranian Media Reaction on Soleimani

January 7, 2020
On January 4, Iranian newspapers from across the political spectrum devoted their front pages to memorializing Qassem Soleimani. The head of the elite Qods Force was killed early the previous day in a U.S. drone strike on Baghdad International Airport. Newspapers described Soleimani as a national…

Are the U.S. and Iran Really on the Brink of War?

January 7, 2020
By Robin Wright I’ve covered Iran since my first visit in 1973 during the shah’s reign and many times since the 1979 revolution. I can’t remember a moment—even during the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in 1979—when the U.S. and Iran seemed closer to some form of overt or covert military showdown.…

Part 12: U.S. and Iran’s Cultural Sites

January 7, 2020
On January 4, President Trump warned Iran against seeking revenge for the killing of Qassem Soleimani. The head of the elite Qods Force died in a U.S. airstrike shortly after he arrived at Baghdad’s International Airport on January 3. Trump specified that Washington had identified 52 sites of “…

Part 11: New Qods Force Leader - Esmail Ghaani

January 7, 2020
On January 3 (January 2 U.S. time), the United States killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of the elite Qods Force, in a drone strike in Iraq. One day after Soleimani’s death, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced that Esmail Ghaani, deputy commander of the Qods Force, would replace him.…

Part 6: Congressional Reaction

January 6, 2020
Updated: January 9, 2020
U.S. lawmakers had mixed responses to killing of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Qods Force. The split was largely along party lines. Republicans supported the assassination of the general, whom the United States held responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American servicemembers…

Part 7: International Reactions

January 6, 2020
European powers expressed solidarity with the United States over the targeting of anti-ISIS coalition forces in Iraq. They highlighted their concern about Iran’s interventions across the Middle East. But they also called for de-escalation after the United States killed Qassem Soleimani in a drone…

Iran’s Fifth Step Away from Nuclear Deal

January 6, 2020
On January 5, Iran announced its fifth step away from its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Tehran said it would not abide by restrictions on uranium enrichment capacity, percentage of enrichment, stockpile size of enriched material,…

Part 3: Pentagon on Soleimani Operation

January 6, 2020
Updated: January 7, 2020
On January 2, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that it had killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Qods Force, in a drone strike at Baghdad’s International Airport. The Qods Force is the external operations wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), designated a foreign…

Part 2: Iran Pledges Retaliation

January 6, 2020
Iranians leaders from across the political spectrum condemned the United States for killing Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike on January 2. Hardliners promised retaliation. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had a personal relationship with Qods Force commander, declared three days of…

Part 5: U.S. Outreach to Allies

January 6, 2020
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reached out to U.S. allies in the wider Middle East and Europe to discuss the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Qods Force. In calls with top officials, Pompeo reiterated shared concerns about Iran’s interventions across the region. The following…

Part 4: Pompeo on Soleimani, Iran Tensions

January 6, 2020
Updated: January 7, 2020
On January 3, Secretary of State Pompeo alleged that Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Qods Force, was planning an “imminent attack” on Americans. In several interviews with the press, he argued that the United States would have been negligent if it had not killed the general in a drone…

Part 1: U.S. Strike on Soleimani

January 6, 2020
Updated: January 8, 2020
On Friday, January 3 (January 2 U.S. time), the United States killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of the elite Qods Force, in a drone strike at Baghdad’s International Airport. He had reportedly masterminded major military operations, bombings and assassinations since he took over the external…

News Digest: Week of January 6

January 6, 2020
January 6 Society: Hundreds of thousands of Iranians turned out for Qassem Soleimani’s funeral in Tehran. The head of the elite Qods Force was killed in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad’s international airport on January 3. Many mourners shouted “Death to America.” Supreme Leader Khamenei wept …

News Digest: Week of December 30

December 30, 2019
December 30 Nuclear: Russia warned that the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was in danger of “falling apart” if the United States and the European Union did not begin complying with its terms. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his Iranian…

News Digest: Week of December 23

December 23, 2019
December 23 Protests/Human Rights: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered a violent crackdown on demonstrations over fuel that began on November 15, according to a Reuters report. On November 17, Khamenei allegedly told his top security aides to “do whatever it takes to stop them.” Unnamed…

Iran-U.S. Exchange at U.N. Meeting

December 20, 2019
On December 19, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations expressed condolences over the death of an Iranian toddler who suffered from a rare skin disease. The rare interaction between Kelly Craft and her Iranian counterpart, Majid Takht Ravanchi, came after a tense U.N. Security Council meeting on…

U.S. Condemns Human Rights Abuses

December 19, 2019
On December 19, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Iran for wide-ranging human rights abuses, including the violent crackdown on protestors in November 2019. He also announced new U.S. sanctions and visa restrictions. His address was part of a State Department symposium on the state of human…